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April 4, 2003 Myeloma Minute
What's News
  • Tests Show Drug Prevents Chemotherapy Damage
    An experimental wound-healing medicine, largely written off a year ago by Wall Street because of lackluster test results, prevents damage to the digestive system in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. (from the Washington Post)

  • Double delight for identical twins
    IMF Scientific Advisor Ray Powles and his brother Trevor have both been awarded a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honors List.(from Redhill and Reigate LIFE)
  • Call for cancer tags on makeup
    US Cancer Prevention Coalition chairman Dr Samuel Epstein says health warnings similar to those found on cigarette packets should be placed on "cancer-causing" cosmetics and toiletries. (from the Herald Sun)

New! Question of the Week

We are happy to announce a new feature of the Myeloma Minute, the Question of the Week. In each issue we will feature an important question that has been recently addressed to the IMF Hotline. Our answers are not intended as medical advice, but as information to discuss with your doctor. If you have further questions or comments about any of the issues raised this week or in continuing weeks, please write us care of the Myeloma Minute.

Q. My grandmother died of myeloma and now my dad has been diagnosed with this disease. Can you tell me if myeloma is hereditary?

A. There is only a weak family tendency to develop myeloma. Approximately 3-5% of patients with myeloma give a history of myeloma or a related blood/bone marrow condition within the extended family. Thus far, no specific gene has been linked to this myeloma tendency. Genetic research in families with more than one member who has developed myeloma can provide important clues about what causes myeloma.

The International Myeloma Foundation is conducting "FAMILIAL MYELOMA" research as part of a new genetic research program called Bank On A Cure™ (BOAC). In this project families will be studied to correlate DNA results with medical history and thus identify genes linked to myeloma.

Anyone interested in further details should contact the IMF at (800) 452-2873.

Results of this project will be critical to the understanding of both why myeloma occurs and how best to treat the disease.

What can you do right now if there is a history of myeloma in your family? Become informed about myeloma and its symptoms by reading information provided on the IMF website (www.myeloma.org) or call and order an information packet directly from the IMF at (800) 452-2873. When family members visit their physician for their annual check-up, make sure they tell the doctor about your family medical history. Standard laboratory blood work will indicate an increase in protein, and the doctor will have a note in the medical chart so that any protein increase will be properly evaluated.

What's New in Myeloma Research:
Advocacy Update:
  • Call Congress on April 8 to Support OVAC Agenda
    As part of the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) Lobby Day, all the attending advocates are scheduled to meet with their senators and representatives on Tuesday, April 8 to advocate for funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) cancer programs.

    Your calls to the offices on the day of their visits will reinforce their message and demonstrate the depth of support for cancer research funding.

What's New in Clinical Trials:
  • A multi-centre phase-II trial of thalidomide in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma reveals an adverse prognostic impact of advanced age.
    Mileshkin LR, Biagi JJ, Mitchell P, Underhill C, Grigg A, Bell R, McKendrick J, Briggs P, Seymour JF, Lillie K, Smith JG, Zeldis JB, Prince HM.

If you would like to browse trials currently open for enrollment, visit the Clinical Trials page of the IMF web site. Among the links, you will find CenterWatch and EmergingMed. The IMF has entered into partnerships with them to assist you in matching trials to your particular patient profile (i.e., stage of disease, previous treatment, how well you are able to carry out the activities of daily living, etc.) and by doing so, increase your chances of being eligible. You can also learn more about clinical trials by reviewing material from the National Cancer Institute.

Quality of Life Update:
  • "Living Well With Multiple Myeloma"
    April 16, 6:30-8:00
    Speaker: Diane Cockburn RN, MS, AOCN
    Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist
    St. Vincent Medical Center, Auditorium, Portland, Oregon
    For more information call Sue Sumpter, RN, MS, CCRN
    (503) 245-9866 (ext. 14) or 1-800-466-6572
    e-mail: sumpters@or.leukemia-lymphoma.org
  • Duke Support Group Plans Dinner for MM Patients, Family and Friends - April 14, 2003
    Dr. Christina Gasparetto, Duke myeloma specialist, will speak. For info, call Louise Chut at 919-542-8181 or the Cancer Support Program at 919-684-4497.

If you are interested in joining a support group, use the IMF's worldwide support group directory to find one that meets near you. You can also join our online support group.

If you have a topic of particular interest that you would like us to feature, if you are starting a support group, or if you are in a support group that is doing something to make a real difference in the lives of mutiple myeloma patients and their families and friends, let us know.

Upcoming Seminars and Conferences:
  • IXth Annual International Workshop On Multiple Myeloma
    May 23-27, 2003
    Salamanca, Spain
    Every two years, the myeloma scientific community gathers from around the world to discuss the state of the art in myeloma treatment and research. This year they are meeting in the ancient and beautiful city of Salamanca.

Upcoming Fundraisers:

FUNdraising Made Easy
You know you want to do something, but deciding on what to do can be confusing. The IMF can help.

March Madness Basketball Fundraiser
April 9, 2003
Sharon, MA
Fashions 4 a Cure
April 6, 2003
Fox Valley Country Club, Lancaster, NY

Valued at $1,200.00, this cabochon sapphire and diamond ring, donated by Adler Jewelry and The Circle of Friends, will be raffled off at Fashions 4 a Cure

4th Annual JC Invitation Golf Tournament
May 17, 2003
Wapicada Golf Course, Sauk Rapids, MN

"Hair Cares"
June 22, 2003
Curries Hair, Skin & Nail Salon, Glen Mills, PA

5th Annual Corporate Challenge
June 30, 2003
Stamford, CT
Ralph Ferrizzi Memorial Golf Tournament
August 23, 2003
Allentown, PA
Mile High March for Myeloma
August 16, 2003
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Corporate Cup Challenge
August 26, 2003
Naperville, IL
5th Annual Yard Sale for Myeloma Research
April 18-19, 2003
Ocala, FL

Exciting Opportunities:
  • Robert Kyle Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner
    August 2, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    The International Myeloma Foundation is proud to present its first Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert A. Kyle, M.D., Professor of Medicine & Laboratory Medicine, Mayo Clinic, in recognition for his outstanding life work, clinically and in research, in the field of myeloma. The award will be presented in subsequent years to honor other professionals for their work in the field.
  • Multiple Myeloma Quilt of Courage
    The second quilt is up and it's beautiful. Squares for the 3rd quilt are past due, so those of you who are working on them, please get them in. There are still a few squares left for the 4th and final quilt. If you would like one, email Suzanne Battaglia (sbattaglia@myeloma.org).
  • Time for Mother's Day! You can make your mother a very happy woman with the help of IMFers Esther and Herman Adler, of Adler & Company Jewelers in Los Angeles. Buy beautiful jewelry at wholesale prices and—if you tell them you are an IMFer—a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the IMF. They make it so easy, too. They can work from digital pictures if you cannot meet with them, and they have a return policy if you are not completely satisfied. Call them at 213-624-1945 for more information.

Items of Interest:
  • Bernard Levin, MD, will host People Living With Cancer's next live chat about Cancer Prevention
    Friday, April 11, 2003 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET.
    Dr. Levin is Vice President of Cancer Prevention at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's new Cancer Prevention Task Force. He will address how to reduce the risk of developing cancer; screening tests to detect cancer in its earliest stages, when treatment is more likely to be successful; and advances in prevention research.
  • Myeloma Matrix
    The Myeloma Matrix provides updated information about drugs beginning with pre-clinical developments and tracks drugs as they proceed through Phases I – III of clinical trials, drugs that have been FDA approved, and information on trials that are being conducted by NCI- sponsored cooperative groups as well as other myeloma study groups. The online version is updated regularly. If you would like to have a printed copy, call the toll-free hotline (800) 452-2873.
  • NexCura Cancer Profiler
    The Cancer Profiler is a free service (no hidden fees or charges). Its tools provide you with information specific to your cancer diagnosis to help you make more informed treatment decisions along with your physician.
  • Expert Opinions on Multiple Myeloma
    A multimedia, CME-accredited program for physicians with the chance to see world-renowned myeloma specialists sharing their knowledge, discussing treatment choices, and comparing their perspectives on controversial issues in multiple myeloma and related diseases.
  • MMInteractive
    An exciting new way for myeloma patients to get involved at patient seminars.
  • International Prognostic Index
    The International Myeloma Foundation is proud to be the sole sponsor for the International Prognostic Index (IPI) Classification for Multiple Myeloma. Nearly twenty myeloma institutions from around the world are collaborating to create an updated staging system for multiple myeloma.
  • Bank On A Cure
    The IMF is pleased to announce the launch of Bank On A Cure™, a groundbreaking international collaborative effort to establish a method to find new treatments while customizing care for current patients.
  • Myeloma At The Movies
    It has been our goal to bring our Patient & Family Seminars to people around the country who might not be able to attend an actual meeting, so we have set up a video lending library....

Shop for the Cure!

Many of the internet's most popular merchants will donate a portion of your purchases to the IMF if you enter their sites using the links on our Shop For The Cure page. You can also use the special shortcut URLs listed below:

So, Shop For The Cure by using these links to the same get great service and low prices you're used to while helping support the IMF!

Help Us Help Others...
As a non-profit organization, the IMF is completely dependent on the support of our members. Please consider showing your support by making a tax-deductible donation today. Donations in honor of a friend or family member make great gifts and are a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion. You can donate online or by calling the IMF at (800) 452-CURE. We sincerely thank you for your support.

Tell A Friend...
The Myeloma Minute is a great way to stay abreast of the latest developments within the myeloma community. We hope you'll share this information with friends, family members and physicians and encourage them to sign up for their own copy by forwarding this message. New users can register by clicking here.
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